February 28, 2019
The Nationa Society of Black Physicists honors Dr. Monica Cox. Dr. Cox was the first woman to earn tenure at the College of Engineering at Purdue Universirty. She is currently the chair of the newly created Department of Engineering Education at The Ohio State University.
Monica F. Cox was born in Fort Gaines, Georgia, and grew up in Shorterville, Alabama and Newville, Alabama. As a child she studied a computer science class in community college. She was awarded a full scholarship to attend Spelman College. She graduated cum laude from Spelman College with a degree in mathematics. She took part in a NASA Women in Science and Engineering program led by Etta Zuber Falconer. During her undergraduate studies, Cox worked at Marshall Space Flight Center. When she graduated from Spelman College she was sponsored by NASA to research in the International Space Station ground payload operations team. She earned a master's degree at University of Alabama and a PhD from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University.
Cox was named as the Chair of the Department of Engineering Education at Ohio State University in 2015. She is the first African-American woman to be a Full Professor in the College of Engineering at Ohio State University. She serves as Principal Investigator of a $1.4 million National Science Foundation grant for her project "Why We Persist: An Intersectional Study to Characterize and Examine the Experiences of Women Tenure-Track Faculty in Engineering". The project will use existing databases for institutional analysis, develop a national survey and conduct interviews with women of color. She published Excellence: Why Being Average is Never an Option in 2018.